I have chosen “Separate Kingdoms” for my assignment due to the increasing need for family cohesion. People need to balance between their respective careers and their families. This reflective essay aims at evaluating Colt’s reaction towards his son after he had a workplace accident. The essay is addressed to fathers who take their workplace frustrations to their families that eventually lead to loosening of family ties.
In several instances, the author shows his discontent towards Colt. Colt is cold towards his child and is heavily guided by egocentrism. He gives little positive attention towards his son and most of the things he does are meant to silence and send away his son. I appreciate the author’s work in putting the issue upfront because it is clear that Colt is cold towards his family. When Jack, his son, comes home to find Colt in a hot quarrel with his wife, he is very unhappy and looks at his son as a disruptor. Jack goes to the warring parents and demands to sit near them, which the author appreciates as a way that Jack used to bring peace to the parents. I also find this as a positive step from Jack that was meant to reconcile the parents. If not successful in reconciliation, their quarrel would at least subdue for some time. Jack must have reasoned. I like Jack’s approach because there was no way that the two would have continued to quarrel in his presence. Although his father was annoyed with him, he was successful in his plan. Instead of appreciating the efforts of his son, Colt wishes to continue with the quarrel. In this case, I find Colt as a very egocentric and insensitive towards the things his son was doing to keep the family together.
Another incident is recorded when Colt is talking to his guest. Jack is there trying to play the drum and instead of showing interest and encourage the son to continue, he is unhappy because the boy was making noise to him and his guest. The author shows his discontent and insensitivity in Colt. I feel that the father ought to have dropped some of his self interest and serenity he wanted in order to help his son achieve his dreams of becoming a drum beater. Colt was never there to coach his son, thus, provided no fatherly support that he was obliged to.
The author uses a very successful illustration to show the rift that had developed between the father and his family by drawing two columns to explain their different views and perceptions. It is successful because he further illustrates how egocentric Colt was and gives a clear contrast between Colt and his son Jack. Jack cared about his father and was even ready to sacrifice some of the luxuries that he had in order to try and fit in his father’s shoes. However, Colt does not appreciate the efforts by his son and continues with his habit of secluding himself in his bedroom. I find this behavior as very unappreciative and irritating, especially taking into account that Jack decided not to use his thumb in order to feel his father’s pain. He tried this after his father lost his thumb at his workplace. I would have thought that this would be a new beginning for the family reunion when Colt would discover how caring his son and wife were towards him.
Today’s families are faced with virtual separation. Despite living under the same roof and spending time within the same compound, they still do not live together and do not fulfill their roles at the parental level. Colt lives with his son, but I feel that he does very little to ensure that his son grows as desired. Instead of guiding and taking care of him, he shoves him away, which I find as socially disgusting.